Restoring Wigan’s river environment

Mersey Rivers Trust is working in Wigan to help restore the river environment, which was once altered or destroyed by industry.

The project is known as Hey Brook Revival and will form one of the Carbon Landscape Projects – a series of individual projects, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will create a wildlife corridor from Wigan Flashes to the Mersey Wetlands.

The Carbon Landscape project involves 14 partners and is led by Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

Supported by Natural Course, the Hey Brook Revival project aims to create a series of wetlands, enhance riparian habitat, improve water quality and train local volunteers as citizen scientists.

So far, the team have held a Balsam Bash event to control the invasive non-native plant species, Himalayan Balsam, which grows at a rapid rate around river banks. The event not only encouraged people to get outside and clear their local park, but by removing the Himalayan Balsam, it will also allow more native plants to thrive. More Balsam Bash events are planned for June 2019.

More than 20 River Guardians have also been trained in water quality and invertebrate kick sampling. These River Guardians monitor their local brook once a month and record their findings on the Mersey Rivers Trust online mapping portal.

In Autumn 2019, the project plans to create a series of wetlands and recruit volunteers to help plant reeds to increase water attenuation, improve water quality and provide habitats for wildlife.

Watch this space for future updates about the project.